Due to the rising popularity of the FIA World Endurance Championship, various manufacturers have been considered to start an LMP1 project in the years to come, but it seems that finally we can have a serious approach in the class, as BMW declared interest in joining to the likes of Audi, Toyota, Porsche and Nissan in the main prototype class.
The idea is to prepare a hybrid LMP1 for 2017, when a new set of regulations will be in force for the LMP1 class, which will make the cars rely more in electric power than their current levels. In fact, various media sources are already stating that the project is already underway, and if approved, should mean the return of the Bavarian manufacturer to the prototypes in a factory effort, what doesn’t happen since the late 90’s, when the BMW V12 LMR conquered some wins in the American Le Mans Series, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999.
BMW is pretty likely to have a go in this effort, if we judge by their latest initiatives when it comes to the automotive industry, as well to motorsports. The efforts to make Alessandro Zanardi compete into sprint and endurance GT3 racing, as well their “i” branded car series, focused on hybrid and electric models like the i8 are examples of that commitment.
Even BMW Motosport’s Jens Marquardt stated that there’s a program in the cards, but the rules would need to change to make for BMW to enter the FIA WEC. Until that, BMW guys will still take part in the FIA WEC races to analyze the LMP1 machines and we’ll have to wait until new statements from BMW regarding the possible project.
PHOTO: BMW Motorsport